Sweet and sappy
It’s time to make maple syrup. After what seems like a long, cold winter we’re facing nights that dip below freezing and heat-wave days of 40 degrees or higher with bright, cheerful sunshine. Perfect weather to get the sap flowing.
The youngsters around here think it’s pretty cool. Suddenly buckets appeared along the lane, in the woods and seemingly everywhere. I’ll admit it’s pretty amazing to hear and see the sap dripping — in some cases running, out of the maple trees.
To get to the sap, holes are drilled about two inches into the tree and three feet from the ground.
A spigot is tapped into the tree allowing the sap to flow out into buckets that hang from each tap. Things were flowing well yesterday. Within an hour or two of tapping the trees, each five gallon bucket boasted several inches of sap.
The sap is thin like water and to our over-salted, over-sweetened taste buds doesn’t have much flavor. Yet. I promised him that some day soon, all of the sap would taste really, really good.
To make maple syrup, the sap is boiled and boiled and boiled some more until the water evaporates and you’re left with the sugary syrup. It takes about 10 gallons of sap to make 1 quart of maple syrup.
Yeah. Kind of unbelievable, huh? It got me to thinking … who was the first person to say, “Hey! If we boil the liquid that comes from a tree we’ll have syrup and sugar to sweeten our food.” Hmmm. Sounds like a great research project for the kids!
The girls tried to explain to Farmboy that we’re not ready for pancakes just yet … but we will be, soon. He wasn’t very happy about it.